Criminal Justice (AAS)

Degree: Associate of Applied Science
Major: Criminal Justice
Program Code: 1360

About This Major . . .

This program is designed for students who want the credentials of an Associate’s Degree combined with the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification. It is highly recommended that students seeking this degree complete their essential learning and elective requirements prior to enrolling in the Western Colorado Community College POST Academy. Once a student has passed all the minimum requirements of Colorado POST he or she has a timeline of ONLY 3 years to be hired by a law enforcement agency. Successful completion of the POST Academy is a requirement of this degree.

Upon successful completion of the requirements, the student would be awarded an A.A.S. degree in Criminal Justice by Colorado Mesa University.  This degree provides graduates with an advantage in the competitive law enforcement career market. Graduates are qualified to apply for jobs in police departments, sheriff’s offices, county jails, alternative sentencing programs, Colorado State Parks, Dept. of Corrections and the State Patrol. Current professionals may increase their promotional opportunities.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit WCCC's Programs of Study page.

All CMU/WCCC associate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus‐wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Illustrate communication and writing skills that are formal and professional in nature. (Communication Fluency)
  2. Apply mathematical concepts required of entry level law enforcement and criminal justice professionals. (Quantitative Fluency)
  3. Demonstrate critical thinking skills by evaluating and analyzing contemporary issues in law enforcement and criminal justice using knowledge of criminal justice concepts, terminology, and theories. (Critical Thinking)
  4. Demonstrate specialized and holistic knowledge of the Criminal Justice system and the law enforcement profession. (Specialized Knowledge)
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in basic skills required for entry level law enforcement and criminal justice professionals. (Applied Learning)
  6. Examine ethical standards and practices, specific to law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. (Specialized Knowledge)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU and WCCC Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 60 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 15 of the final 30 semester hours of credit at CMU/WCCC.
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU/WCCC coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 20 semester credit hours for an AAS degree.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(15 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below.  If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

Communication
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
or SPCH 102 Speechmaking
Mathematics
MATH 108Technical Mathematics (or higher) 1,23
Other Essential Learning Core Courses
Select two of the following:6
General Psychology-GTSS3
Speechmaking
Marriage and Families-GTSS3
General Sociology-GTSS3
Ethics-GTAH3
Total Semester Credit Hours15

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
KINA 127Physical Conditioning 11
Total Semester Credit Hours2

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(43 semester hours)

CRJW 101Basic Police Academy6
CRJW 102Basic Police Academy II10
CRJW 105Basic Law6
CRJW 106Arrest Control3
CRJW 107Law Enforcement Driving2
CRJW 108Firearms3
CRMJ 110Orientation to Criminal Justice Inquiry1
CRMJ 201Introduction to Criminal Justice3
SPCH 101Interpersonal Communications3
POLS 101American Government-GTSS13
SOCO 264Social Problems-GTSS33
Total Semester Credit Hours43

Due to a potential variation in semester credit hours for the Essential Learning Mathematics credits, the following sequencing results in variable credit hours; however, students in this major must complete a minimum of 60 semester credit hours, including satisfactory completion of all required courses, for satisfactory completion of degree.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
SPCH 101 Interpersonal Communications 3
POLS 101 American Government-GTSS1 3
Essential Learning Social and Behavioral Sciences or Humanities course 3
Essential Learning Social and Behavioral Sciences or Humanities course 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ENGL 112
English Composition II-GTCO2
or Speechmaking
3
CRMJ 110 Orientation to Criminal Justice Inquiry 1
CRMJ 201 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3
SOCO 264 Social Problems-GTSS3 3
MATH 108 Technical Mathematics (or higher) 1 3-4
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
 Semester Credit Hours14-15
Second Year
Fall Semester
CRJW 101 Basic Police Academy 6
CRJW 102 Basic Police Academy II 10
CRJW 105 Basic Law 6
CRJW 106 Arrest Control 3
CRJW 107 Law Enforcement Driving 2
CRJW 108 Firearms 3
KINA 127 Physical Conditioning 1
 Semester Credit Hours31
 Total Semester Credit Hours60-61

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at http://www.coloradomesa.edu/registrar/graduation.html.

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.